Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 25, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412979290 | Print ISBN: 9781412961424 | Online ISBN: 9781412979290| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 69: Health Economics
Health economics Health economics is widely understood to encompass the study of the demand and supply for medical services (physician services, services provided in hospitals and independent laboratories, pharmaceuticals, etc.) and for health insurance, as well as comparative studies of different health care systems. It also includes the study of the determinants of demand for health itself, global public health problems, and the nonmedical inputs into health, such as a decent living standard, education, physical and social environment, and personal lifestyle choices, to the extent that they are exogenous (e.g., independent of one's health status). Although the nonmedical factors are increasingly realized to be important in achieving a healthy community at an affordable level of expenditure, most courses in health economics are primarily concerned with the provision of medical care and with health insurance that primarily covers medical care. This chapter will adhere to that tradition since expenditure on medical ...